It’s that time again. NaNoWriMo. You in?

While blogging has seemed to fall off of my radar (all of my profound thoughts have shifted to my Facebook feed) I am still here and still consumed with life and my art. Yes, they seem to be separate entities this day. Life, consisting of home and family, and art as something that I do between the non-negotiables. Sounds grim but, it is what it is. Multiple doses of yoga during the week help with balance, literally and figuratively.

On top of everything else, I have again ,taken on a life’s dream: writing a novel. I have wanted to do it forEVER. I have written plenty of magazine articles and how-to tutorials but have always been intimidated by the idea of writing a ‘real’ book. Some of the things I have taken on and completed in the last five years indicate to me that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. I know, I know, I’ve had people telling me that my whole life. The difference is, I finally believe it. My husband jokingly gifted me a book about releasing your inner Bad-Ass and I guess mine has decided it’s time to get it going on.

I have started to brainstorm novels multiple times. Should it be a memoir? At least I’d know my subject matter but for obvious reasons I don’t want to put that out there as I don’t feel it’s fair to talk about other people, especially if they can’t write their own book in response.

I have had multiple ideas for themes and plots I’d like to cover but never knew how. I have written notebooks full of automatic writing, both personal and exploratory but became overwhelmed thinking about how it could ever be massaged into something coherent. If I thought it was totally spectacular content I could see dumping it into and editors lap or a partner author and saying, hey, here’s some really cool stuff, can you do anything with it? But then, that wouldn’t be writing it, would it?

So, I did what I always do when something interests me. I start to research how to do it. I know that it’s a personal process, it’s art, but I like to know what works for others and always, I like to hear people’s stories. I’ve read about writing, how to write, how to make writing better, how to plan, structure, and wing it. I’ve read the advice of just sit down and write. (been there, done that, got nowhere). Along the way I’m taking bits and pieces and letting it work as it wants to work…a lot of planning but a lot of running around the page to get the pieces that I’m planning into place. It’s fun.

I suspect that me sitting here talking about my process is like telling people about the dream I had last night. No one cares. It doesn’t mean anything to them and it’s a yawn. If you’ve read this far, cool, maybe there is a little bit of something interesting here, and I thank you. I can share more of the process as I go along…good, bad, success and failure. Like, that time SEVEN years ago when I started NaNoWriMo and quit after about a week. (Holy Crap, I didn’t realize it was that long ago! I thought it was about four years ago). I am confident that planning ahead (having characters, a plot idea and some, if not all, of my scenes mapped out) is going to help my success rate. I have 15 of 60 scenes mapped and my handful of main characters breathing a few breaths.

Which reminds me…NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) sign-ups are this month and writing starts November 1st. It is a self-iimposed challenge to write 50,000 in 30 days and have a novel when you’re done. Lots of support, forums, help, prompts, local group organization, etc. Check it out and start planning.